Decrees of the Second Council of Lyons (A.D. 1274), convoked by Pope Gregory X for the sake of union with the Greeks, the crusade, and reform of the Church. Representatives of Emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus and the Greek Orthodox participated. In the fourth session, union between the Greek and Latin Churches was agreed upon and defined. The union, however, soon dissolved. Image above links to Tanner translation. ISBN recommendation: 0-87840-490-2
Aquinas’ exhaustive synthesis of Christian doctrine. Image links to Fathers of the English Dominican Province 1947 translation. ISBN recommendation: 0870610635
Bonaventure’s stairway of contemplation from the exterior world, to the interior, to the Eternal. Image links to the 2005 Alexis Bugnolo translation. Hardcopy recommendation: The Works of Bonaventure, Mystical Opuscula, translated by Jose de Vinck, St. Anthony Guild Press.
Bonaventure’s brief yet comprehensive summary of theology under seven headings: the Trinity of God, Creation, the Corruption of Sin, the Incarnation of the Word, the Grace of the Holy Spirit, the Sacramental Remedy, and the Final Judgement. Image links to de Vinck translation on Scribd.com. Hardcopy recommendation: The Works of Bonaventure, The Breviloquium, translated by Jose de Vinck, St. Anthony Guild Press.
As summarized by Bonaventure himself: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights, says James in the first chapter of his epistle. These words of Sacred Scripture not only indicate the source of all illumination but they likewise point out the generous flow of the manifold rays which issue from that Fount of light. Notwithstanding the fact that every illumination of knowledge is within, still we can with reason distinguish what we may call the external light, or the light of mechanical art; the lower light, or the light of sense perception; the inner light, or the light of philosophical knowledge; and the higher light, or the light of grace and of Sacred Scripture. The first light illumines in regard to structure of artifacts; the second, in regard to natural forms; the third, in regard to intellectual truth; the fourth and last, in regard to saving truth.” Image links to translation of unknown origin. Hardcopy recommendation: The Works of Bonaventure, Opuscula, Second Series, translated by Jose de Vinck, St. Anthony Guild Press.
Decrees of the First Council of Lyons (A.D. 1245), convoked by Pope Innocent IV “that the Church, through the salutary counsel of the faithful and their fruitful help, may have the dignity of its proper position; that assistance may speedily be brought to the unhappy crisis in the Holy Land and the sufferings of the Eastern Empire; that a remedy may be found against the Tartars and other enemies of the faith and persecutors of the Christian people; further, for the issue between the Church and the Emperor”. During this Council, Innocent IV formally pronounced Frederick II as deprived of kingdom and empire. Image above links to Tanner translation. ISBN recommendation: 0-87840-490-2
Decrees of the Fourth Lateran Council (A.D. 1215), convoked by Pope Innocent III “to eradicate vices and to plant virtues, to correct faults and to reform morals, to remove heresies and to strengthen faith, to settle discords and to establish peace, to get rid of oppression and to foster liberty, to induce princes and Christian people to come to the aid and succour of the Holy Land”. The Constitutions present a dogmatic formulation on Transubstantiation. Image above links to Tanner translation. ISBN recommendation: 0-87840-490-2
An fascinating eyewitness account of the Fourth Crusade and the infamous siege and sack (A.D. 1204) of Constantinople. Image above links to Google Books entry. ISBN recommendation: 0-231-13669-2. See also Appendix I, Memory and Reconciliation, for a reflection upon historic grave violations of charity by representatives of the Catholic community.
Decrees of the Third Lateran Council (A.D. 1179), convoked by Pope Alexander III after the battle of Legnano and the surrender of Emperor Frederick I. The primary object of the Council was to end the nearly 20 year schism supported by the Emperor against Alexander. Image above links to Tanner translation. ISBN recommendation: 0-87840-490-2
Decrees of the Second Lateran Council (A.D. 1139), convoked by Pope Innocent II after the death of the antipope, Anacletus II (Peter Leoni). The Council sought to consolidate unity and reestablish ecclesial discipline. Image above links to Tanner translation. ISBN recommendation: 0-87840-490-2